Posted on 2013-Apr-01
Perfect Match Made in Heaven
Every eReading website eagerly covers Amazon’s acquisition of Goodreads as if this were the acquisition of the year. Although the merger deal between traditional publishers previously became talk of the town, this very acquisition to be finalized later this year can be a legend that readers and booksellers will have to remember. The love story begins one “netglomerate” courts another giga book fan site and suddenly proposes a wedding ring in the eyes of thousands of witnesses. Isn’t this the perfect match made in heaven?
Goodreads’ Humongous Community
Although the acquisition causes quite a stir in Goodreads’ community resulting in mixed responses, Otis Chandler’s positive attitude cannot forfeit the bright future his successful startup will be offering. Many express optimistic delight that the integration of services can potentially ease the burden of book lovers to voice their opinion about book review. Some are concerned with the compatibility with other reading platforms and the transparency how Amazon will operate the newly acquired website. Judging from the densely populated community full of voracious readers and professional authors dubbed the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations, the humongous population of 16 million members will certainly add impressive details on Amazon’s résumé.
Mr. Chandler cannot hide his excitement when he reveals the top three reasons to join Amazon’s family. First, Amazon’s vast resources will allow more readers to discover Goodreads’ passionate services and provide better experience for its users. Second, the Kindles will undoubtedly be the eReader of choice for the users whenever they need the “Goodreads experience.” Third, the ability to remain an independent identity under its own credibility finalizes the dream-come-true moment for the founders who started their business in their room merely seven years ago.
One of the publishing industry insiders, Digital Book World, adds more depth to the delightful press release voicing another significant figure from indie author’s world. Mark Coker, Smashwords CEO, expresses ironic sentiment that the acquisition deal is Amazon’s “brilliant move” that would “lock up discovery for the next couple of years” whereas Russ Grandinetti, Amazon VP of Kindle Content, envisions how both Amazon and Goodreads will achieve “a wider audience and make a better living at their craft…to delight readers and authors alike.” Hugh Howey also chimes in the congratulatory tone.
The Marriage between the Largest and the Largest
Apart from proclaiming to be the largest book recommendation website, the largest “books-focused social network” seems to signify how active the users are. Up to this point, I assume you must be associated with their services one way or another. If your literary passion is reading, it seems there will be not enough channel to say how much you love your favorite novels or how much you want to socialize with your favorite authors. On other social media platforms, your profile information is the essential lead to determine how people make decision to interact with you. Goodreads stands out in this aspect to focus on the books you have read. Your virtual bookshelves build conversation with other readers who share the same feelings about what the authors have planted into their mind.
If you are lucky enough to befriend authors, rest assured that they will always engage you in reading activities and communication about their book. In the past few months, I was privileged enough to discuss the book plot with two authors who brilliantly penned the psychological tell-all that touch upon the soul of human’s flawed vulnerability. The active participation of authors helps me gain an insight why the story is woven the way it is. Reading their comments allows me to get in the shoes of the character that clarifies argument and solution as presented in the book. Little by little, I feel strongly motivated to continue reading for pure entertainment and enlightenment.
In the eyes of business experts, successful performance promises a rosy future. According to Forbes, from the moment True Ventures placed their investment bet in the startup after meeting with the married founders, they did not have to think twice in injecting millions more. True Ventures founder, Jon Callaghan, expressed confidence in the Chandlers’ passion in doing their business. “They love reading and authors. It shows in their product demeanor. They were building a company for the long-term. They focused on doing the right thing for the user base,” he said. Not only has Goodreads’ shown decent financial record being cash-flow positive throughout the operational period, their ability to better equip Amazon with social network flexibility will also guarantee another chapter of success for both companies. In The Wall Street Journal, Mark Shatzkin-Idea Logical Company CEO-says that the “marriage” will combine the “two most robust players in online book discovery” especially when the majority of readers utilize their mobile devices to search for books.
The Future of Discoverability and Social Reading
Although it remains to be seen what the future may hold for Amazon’s competitors to be visible on Goodreads, it is evident that this acquisition garners approval rather than disdain based on the preliminary feedback. According to The Wall Street Journal, book marketers can conveniently focus on the two main channels that will serve as viable solution for promotion. For Nookies and the like, the acquisition might jeopardize their freedom of expression to explore 360 million books and eBooks while choosing the online retailer of their preference. For general authors and readers, this is the time when the future of discoverability and social reading will be brought to a much broader and bigger universe. As an eBook designer, BB eBooks hopes to bring the social aspect of reading for our clients to connect and reward your readers. Do regularly check our website to anticipate the epic service tailor-made for your eBooks’ perfection.
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